1. #1
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    Default A new Rehab unit

    I have aquired a 2001 mini bus from a bus manufacturer so that I can turn it into a rehab unit. I have someone willing to paint it for me at little to no cost. I plan on tinting all of the windows and removing the seats inside and turning some of them sideways so that the seat backs are up against the windows. This will make them like bench seats on both sides of the bus and will give the rehab personnel better access to monitor the vitals of everyone in rehab.

    The question I have is what other modifications should I incorporate into our rehab unit? I plan on keeping bottled water and sports drinks in a cooler and snacks. I will also have some basic medical supplies in there as well. Should I try to put a lightbar on the bus or just keep it how it is and let it respond with traffic?

    I'm open to ideas. I want to make sure that my bases are covered before it goes into service. We plan on using this for our own calls and any other department in our county that needs it... I'm hoping to hear some good ideas!

    Thanks,
    Tim

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    Maybe just put some amber lights on it for traffic safety. I don't see any need to run "hot" in a rehab unit. Somebody needs rehabbing that bad, they're in an ambulance.
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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    Like the point of EastKeyFF. Maybe a T/A on back, sometimes Rehab is a late unit on scene, and may be the last unit in line, even know it should be closer.

    Additionally, what about auxiliary heat and also A/C? I dont know what kind of climate control units are already on the bus, how old the bus is, etc.

    Just a thought, a D sized oxygen tank, with a manifold going down the roof line, that way you can tie a regulator in and give guys O2 when needed.

    Just a few thoughts.

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    I have to echo the climate control. Just test it out and make sure the bus can keep warm or cool even with the people coming in and out.

    An awning on the side could be useful. Gives you additional space that is out of direct sun and weather. Depending how how big of an incident it is, you'll probably need the extra space.

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    As above, make sure the HVAC is capable of keeping you cool on the hottest days, and warm on the coldest days. I might suggest incorporating a generator to run lights and the HVAC. At idle on a cold day, the engine may not provide enough heat to warm the passenger compartment. I've sat on city busses in the winter and damn near froze to death because there was no heat at all even though the busses were running. Also, having a generator powered system eliminates long term idling with heavy load on the bus engine and charging system. Lastly, you can move the generator away and reduce CO issues that may develop from either the generator or the bus exhaust system.

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    Coffee! You don't know the joy on a guys face that has been outside on a long cold incident when he comes in to find that you have a hot pot on the burner. Also, extra consumables, gloves, hoods, etc.

    We keep things like granola bars on ours. Quick, long lasting pick me up that is darn near indestructible, along with the water and Gatorade in a dorm style fridge. Don't kid yourself though, that won't be enough on a medium sized incident. There are normally a couple of extra cases that are in the truck somewhere, at room temp.

    Our light/air/rehab truck does run lights and sirens. On a fire, it's a secondary piece that may or may not get out the door depending on staffing. We have had no issues with running it as such. It's titled and registered as an EV, and thus runs as so. It's normally taken by some of our older members who are no longer interested in interior firefighting, so the giddiness of running lights/sirens has long since worn off.

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    The bus is a 2001. It has A/C and I was told it works well... Then again, an auxiliary unit on the roof might be a good idea. Maybe one like they put of RV's would be good. Also, I think I am going to put a rolling tool box base in it without the wheels. The drawers would be lockable and could hold alot of stuff like towels and basic medical supplies. I like the idea of the awning, oxygen and the generator... I was even thinking about a portable toilet like what might go in a pop up camper... but I'm not so sure I would want to empty it. lol

    Thanks for the tips!! Keep'em coming...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoaddoggAK View Post
    Coffee! You don't know the joy on a guys face that has been outside on a long cold incident when he comes in to find that you have a hot pot on the burner. Also, extra consumables, gloves, hoods, etc.

    We keep things like granola bars on ours. Quick, long lasting pick me up that is darn near indestructible, along with the water and Gatorade in a dorm style fridge. Don't kid yourself though, that won't be enough on a medium sized incident. There are normally a couple of extra cases that are in the truck somewhere, at room temp.
    Oh yeah... forgot the coffee!! That's a must! I never thought about extra gloves and hoods. That's a great idea! I was planning on the Granola bars... maybe some beef jerky sticks. I'm trying to keep the costs down so the fridge might have to come later... A cooler of ice will have to do for now.

    Thanks!!

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    wow. tons of awesome ideas.

    As far as generator. and APU would be great, but so costly. However, seeing if the trans has a PTO output (knock out plate) you could get a gen set that runs off the bus engine, so less equipment to haul, and the bus would be running anyways. you can get gen sets between 10-15kw. enough to run yours needs.

    awning is a great idea, and even an easy up or two, incase you have to set up a little remote from the bus, or an intermediate Rehab, for a quick seat, and vital check, and more seriously weathered men go to the bus for heating /cooling refreshments, etc.

    toilet, there are ones that have baggies, you could get that type, and people tie and take their own baggie and put it in the garbage or something.

    I love the idea of extra gloves and hoods...simple things that get over looked, that would go a long way on a February morning fire.

    As far as L/S, I would, just run it cautiously. Stopping at red lights and all. I just wouldnt run super hot. No need for a Q, lol

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    So let me ask this question for those of you that have rehab units. How do you fund it? We are a small volunteer fire department with a very tight budget. We plan to let anyone use our bus and if they use some of the consumables, like bottled water, we will expect them to replace it. The trustees are concerned about the costs of keeping it up and running. As for the refurb to get it in service, that's all coming out of my own pocket. So, are there any tips or tricks to get something like this supported by other agencies or companies?

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    All the ideas so far sound great. I agree with the ones on here that said the small things make a big difference on a rehab unit. I can remember quite a few times people have gone to the bathroom in the house that was just on fire, but when ya got to go ya got to go lol. In addition to the normal rehab supplies including gloves and hoods are squad, which carries most of our rehab supplies, has cheap socks, sweat pants and t-shirts we bought from Wal-Mart. Its nice on those long incidents where you get soaked to get into dry clothes before doing overhaul for an extended time.

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    As far as funding goes most of the fire co. and ambulances in my area buy their own supplies and also get alot donated from local stores. One ambulance co that has its own rehab unit asks for a donation if you call them and they use alot of their own supplies.

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    Add a microwave. Make the refrigerator a medium size with a freezer. You should be able to get a trade-in from a local appliance dealer. Stock the freeze with frozen convience store burritos. For long calls or in the middle of the night bellys start growling.

    Will need a shoreline.

    For genset go thru your state forester and your FD can get a 3/4t trailer with a 5kw diesel (these are severe duty sets 110% PF) that would be about right. DOD has many available. Install some aux baseboard elec heaters in your vehicle.

    Lots of interior lighting. And some exterior scene lighting.

    Get some end of season folding alum/canvas chairs. These are cheap on clearance right now. Most guys that are resting will want to do it outside when weather allows.

    Add a folding table or two. In our area neighors will bring us sandwichs/snacks to the long/big calls.

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